Is Fallon the Xer Who Will Millennialize Late Night?

Jimmy Fallon is not a Millennial. At 36-years-old, he is firmly in the camp of the Gen Xer—but you wouldn’t be blamed for mistaking him for a member of the more optimistic, less-cynical generation when watching his takeover of The Tonight Show since last MondayAfter years of Leno and Letterman’s wry, sarcastic take on pop culture dominating late night, Fallon’s approach is unapologetically positive and inclusive. Fallon could be the first late night host to appeal to the Millennial audience. Ratings for the show actually improved over the course of last week for viewers between 18 and 49 (the “money category” for late night shows) delivering a number that was the best viewer score for that demo on a Wednesday night for the show in 10 years. Nothing about the long-term future of his audience can be determined yet, but he’s already in a better position that most to lure Millennials to late night TV. Many grew up watching him on SNL, but that’s just one advantage—his personality and approach to comedy make him more Millennial-friendly than any other host. Here are just some of the reasons that Fallon may be the Xer who will Millennialize late night:
 
1. They’re actually excited for him.
Throughout last week, one of the biggest differences between Jimmy Fallon and his predecessor became clear: Millennials are actually excited for Fallon, and they’re celebrating his show. His premiere resulted in a slew of blogosphere output chronicling and complimenting the moments of the first show, like “The 35 Best Moments From Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ Debut” GIF gallery posted on Buzzfeed. UPROXX’s effusive posting on the celebrity cameo skit of the premiere might have put the reaction best: ”You might say the cameo-heavy segment was just like the thing Jay Leno tried to do, except…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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